One of the UK’s leading umbrella group for Hindus has said the Bank of England has assured them that concerns over the use of animal fat in the new five-pound notes were being treated with “utmost seriousness” and the new 20 pound notes would be launched only after consultations.
Hindu Council UK held a number of meetings with the central bank’s representatives to explain that as Hindus see the cow as a symbol of grace and veneration, the use of tallow made from beef fat in the notes went against their beliefs.
“Over the last couple of months, the Hindu Council UK has been in communication with the Bank of England (BoE) and raised the concerns of the Hindu Community, Hindu Temples and Hindu Organisations in the UK.
“The Bank of England assured that they were treating those concerns with the utmost seriousness and wanted to understand better what impact the use of small traces of animal-derived products in polymer banknotes may have within the community before making any further statement on the issue,” Hindu Council UK said in a statement this week.
The BoE had announced recently that it would not be withdrawing the polymer notes and that new 10-pound notes made of the same material would also go ahead for their launch later this year.
However, it would launch a consultation before issuing similar new 20-pound notes.
“The Hindu Council UK is pleased that Bank of England has listened to our concerns and halted the issuing of the new 20 pound notes until a full consultation has been done.
“In addition, the Bank of England has assured us that they are working with polymer suppliers to investigate alternatives, including some that are plant-based, for the future,” the council said.
In late November 2016, BoE announced that it had been informed that small traces of animal-derived products were used by a supplier in the manufacture of the new polymer 5 pound notes.